Tag: children

IPS Parents’ Interests: “A Train Analogy”

As a parent to a three-and-a-half year old and an eight month old, one of the most difficult concepts to navigate is how to help your child when he/she is upset.  It pains me beyond words when my daughter or son is (seemingly) inconsolable. Adults use distraction techniques to help soothe themselves and avoid having to deal with unwanted feelings.  As an adult, I’ve learned to “compartmentalize” as a coping mechanism; that is, instead of being overwhelmed for weeks about an upcoming event, I’m able to shorten the anticipatory anxiety to occur only just before the experience.

Children, however, need to learn how to handle these difficult feelings not only with the support of their parents or caregivers, but also through the ability to self-soothe.  (This is a technique best learned, in my experience, when you are younger, rather than having to learn it as an adult!) . The only way to learn to self-soothe is to allow your child to experience all of the feelings in the moment:  sadness, despair, hysteria (on occasion), to name a few.  A few years ago, I was aghast when our beloved pediatrician suggested that we leave our (at the time) nine-month-old daughter in her crib, whether she was crying or not, for short amounts of time in order to teach her how to get herself to go to sleep.  After one or two nights of extreme upset (where I actually left the apartment, leaving my husband to hear the brunt of the tears), my daughter magically was able to go to sleep on her own.  Who would’ve thought that could happen?  Not me, even as an experienced teacher, but sure enough, it happened.

I recently read a blog post by Katie McLaughlin called, “The Train Analogy That Will Change How You See Your Crying Child.”  It reminded me of what our pediatrician told us, and how incredibly helpful it was to myself, my husband, and our daughter, despite the pain I may have felt at the time.  I’ve provided the link to the article for you all below, in hopes that it can help other parents and families.

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Field Trip Fun at The International Preschools

An IPS class visits the New York Botanical Garden.

Spring is high season for field trips at The International Preschools! Our students thoroughly enjoy attending class trips and look forward to doing so every year.  New York City (and its surrounding areas) provide a wealth of opportunity for extended learning within our school curriculum and for making connections between home and school.  Read on to see where we’ve been and why we went!

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Grandparents and Special Friends Day at The International Preschools

Green 1 students say hello to their visitors on Grandparents and Special Friends Day last year.

Throughout the year, The International Preschools hosts events for families and friends to come together and not only learn about our school, but to celebrate its supportive community.  Our Grandparents and Special Friends Day is an annual event where extended members of our students’ families and/or close friends are invited to spend some time inside of the classrooms.  This year, Grandparents and Special Friends Day will take place on Thursday, May 9th and Friday, May 10th. Read on to find out more about this special fete!

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76th Street Museum Night at The International Preschools

76 Pre-K 1 created a replica of the Empire State Building for their New York City-themed book study.
Families observing the Pre-K 3 exhibit at the 76th Street Museum Night.

On Tuesday, April 9th, The International Preschools’ 76th Street location hosted its second annual Museum Night for the Green Rooms (3s) and Pre-Kindergarten classes (4s).  Museum Night first took place in 2018, as a Green Room function. Families were invited to observe artwork, photos, and other projects created during each class’ curriculum theme.  Pizza was served and children were invited to dress up for this special evening celebration!

This year, our Pre-K classes joined the Green Rooms in displaying work from their winter author and book studies. Read on to find out more about this special event!

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Culture Shares and Family Traditions at The International Preschools

The culture share curriculum kicks off with our United Nations Day celebration, where children wear clothing that represents the country that their family identifies with.

Sharing and celebrating each other’s family traditions and cultures is an important part of the curriculum at The International Preschools.  Our mission statement expresses that “at The International Preschools, where English language learners are welcomed and supported, children and families from New York City and all over the world share their cultures and gain a sense of international awareness through mutual understanding and respect.”  This objective is achieved via a variety of events and activities that occur throughout the school year.

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IPS Gives Back: Community Outreach

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF coin collection box

The season of giving is upon us, and it’s never too early to start teaching children about the importance of giving back to your community.  Every year, The International Preschools participates in community service projects to help the less fortunate both locally and worldwide.  Here are a few of the programs that our school proudly contributes to:

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Celebrating United Nations Day at The International Preschools

Creating a flag collage in honor of United Nations Day.

Each year, the faculty, staff, parents, and children of The International Preschools come together to celebrate a special holiday:  United Nations Day.  More than 50 years ago, The International Preschools was created as a way to assist international families who relocated to the United States.  Formerly known as The International Play Group, the school opened locations throughout Manhattan and Queens.  Today, we celebrate United Nations Day as a way to commemorate IPS’ inception and to introduce our students and families to the many cultures that make up our school community.

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Preschoolers, Technology, and Its Many Usages

Children at our 76th Street location engaging in movement activities.

If you’re like me, you’re one of the many parents who are amazed at how quickly toddlers and preschoolers work their way around an iPad or an iPhone.  Scrolling and clicking on various apps seem to be second-nature to young children these days.  With technology being an ever-prominent aspect of day-to-day life, it’s a wonder that activities such as drawing, building with blocks, and movement or dancing  haven’t fallen completely by the wayside.

Unfortunately, a reliance on technology to entertain young children is apparent everywhere you go.  I’m always surprised by the amount of toddlers clutching an iPhone instead of playing with a favorite toy or looking at a book while riding in a stroller.  In restaurants, it’s not abnormal to see children watching videos on an iPad instead of engaging in conversations with their parents or siblings.

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Talking to Children About Difficult Topics

kids-holding-hands-ips

One of the most entertaining everyday occurrences at The International Preschools are the many “sound bites” that children share with their teachers.  Children provide unique yet innocent insights and observations about the world around them on a daily basis, from a trip that they will be taking with their families to a gaggle of puppies that they saw frolicking in Central Park.  As teachers, parents, caregivers, and friends, we are happy to engage in these little conversations.

Sometimes, with both parents and teachers, these conversations can take on a more serious tone.  Topics such as death, divorce, moving to a new house or school, or even the addition of a new baby can bring up worries and questions in young children.  And, in the world that we live in today, the addition of terrorist attacks close to home can further exacerbate the internal fears within children.

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Separation Anxiety: It Can Happen to Anyone!

Toddlers lining up to play on the first days of school!

The children’s book, Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes, tells the story of a child named Wemberly who worries about everything.  Her biggest worry of all?  The first day of school!  Ultimately, Wemberly vows not to worry so much in the future, so that she won’t miss out on the fun.

Like Wemberly, separation anxiety is a natural thing for children (and parents) to feel during the first days of school.  Some children transition easily into school right away, saying goodbye to their parents without ever turning back.  Others might start on day one, excited and enthusiastic, and return on day two hesitantly and apprehensively; this often occurs when a child realizes that school doesn’t occur just one day a year!  And still, other children take days or weeks to warm up to their new school environment.  Rest assured, this behavior is to be expected, and the teachers and staff at The International Preschools are ready to help!

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